If you are about to have a baby, there are some things that you might want to know about your newborn. There are some things that might freak you out a bit and cause concern. We are here to put your fears at ease and tell you about some of the important things you should know before you have a panic attack.
They May Look a Little Odd
Some people say that babies are beautiful and others say that they look like aliens from outer space. Although the people that say babies look like aliens might catch some heat from other parents, the fact of the matter is that often this is true. Yes, babies, especially newborns in the first couple of months after being born, can look weird. However, don’t worry, because this is normal.
For one, your newborn’s skull might be warped and misshapen. This happens because the skull is often not fully formed, and it hasn’t formed to its full shape. The skull is usually quite soft so it can fit through the birth canal without too much trouble. Also, the baby’s eyes will usually be shut and a little gooey, which is normal. Some newborns also come out with a fully body suit of really fine hairs. Don’t worry because the skull will take its shape, the hair will disappear, and the eyes will open up and get less gooey. Just give it some time.
Don’t Expect Immediate Attachment
Although you will most likely immediately feel attached to your newborn baby, it usually does not work this way. New parents expect their baby to be smiling, happy, cooing, making eye contact, and having a close bond with the parents the second it pops out. However, this is not the case. A newborn baby needs time to adjust to its new and insecure surroundings.
After all, it just came out of the womb and is seeing light, hearing noise, and seeing your faces for the first time. Don’t be worried if for the first 6 or 8 weeks your baby seems like it is not responding to you or is not attached to you very strongly. Just like the looks of your baby will normalize given a few weeks’ time, so will its attachment to the parents.
Umbilical Cord Bleeding Is Normal
Another thing which many parents of newborn children freak out about has to do with the umbilical cord. There will be a little stump there where the cord was snipped. Now, this should fall off in around 1-2 weeks after the baby is born.
Parents often worry because the stump will bleed a little bit from time to time. Many take this is a bad sign. However, this is actually totally normal. A bit of bleeding from the umbilical cord stump is normal, as long as it is neither continuous nor excessive. Just pat it down with a bit of alcohol on a cotton swab or ball to dry it up and keep it clean. It should fall off a couple weeks after birth.
Don’t Freak Out Over The Soft Spot
We already touched upon the misshapen skull and the soft spot on the head in the first point. There is a little more to cover here. Yes, your baby will have a soft spot, one which will pulsate due to the blood vessels underneath it. You don’t have to be worried about touching the soft spot or touching the area surrounding it. You don’t want to be rough, but touching it is no big deal. You are not going to injure your baby or cause the skull to implode simply by touching it.
Keep Calm About Feeding
Many parents of newborns suffer from anxiety when it comes to feeding the baby, especially in relation to the amount. Lots of parents do not know if the newborn is getting enough food, but don’t worry, because they will let you know. They may be young, but they can definitely feel hunger.
Keep in mind that a newborn will lose up to 8% of its weight in the week after being born. However, this weight should be gained back within 2 weeks after birth. In terms of the amount of food, you can use the diaper to make sure the baby is eating enough. If the baby is eating right, it should produce between 5 and 8 wet diapers per day, with between 2 and 4 stools. Also, if a baby is hungry, it will cry, and if hungry and near mama, it will want to eat.
Don’t Worry About Flaky Skin
Another thing you should know about your newborn is that its skin is going to be dry, to the point where it flakes and peels off, just as if you got a sunburn. Once again, this is totally normal. A baby spends on average 9 months in the womb, and it’s wet in there.
Your baby comes out of the wetness into dry air for the first time in 9 months, so having its skin dry out is normal. In the first couple of weeks, the skin will dry, flake, and peel off, especially if the baby was late in being born. No, you don’t have to moisturize your baby, and in fact, that will only prolong the process. Just let the baby peel and after a couple of weeks, it will have that baby smooth skin you were expecting.
Don’t Be A Hermit
Many parents think that they have to hole up at home and be hermits for the first year after the baby is born. This is not true. Unless there are sick people around, or extreme temperatures, going outside will not harm the baby. In fact, it will probably help it get accustomed and acclimatized to the world much faster.
When all is said and done, there are many things that can freak out parents of newborn babies. However, most of these things, although odd and usually unexpected, are usually nothing to worry about.